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What becomes philosophy in the Digital Age?

Posted: March 6th, 2019, 1:55 pm
by wordandtruth
My opinion about philosophy in this Information Age.
1. Throughout my life experience and judgments, I arrived at the conclusion that in the innermost core of metaphysics and ontological studies is strongly connected with the philosophy of language and with all the interdisciplinary sciences connected with it, such as linguistic anthropology and others. Whenever I doubt an argument, I make use of an etymological dictionary, in order to connect to the missing parts of the whole possible truth for me. Searching for consciousness, of course in an Indo-European context, an idea that was ascribed to humans along the history of languages, I found in the dictionary that con- is:

"word-forming element meaning "together, with," sometimes merely intensive; it is the form of com- used in Latin before consonants except -b-, -p-, -l-, -m-, or -r-. In native English formations (such as costar), co- tends to be used where Latin would use con-. "

I know that etymology too is a science, thus being historically evolving, but right now we are talking inside this box of meanings and words about present time. English, Romance languages and Latin have things in common and are highly influential in the last few centuries of thinking when we witnessed this high-speed evolution of diverging sciences and technologies, according to historiography, different than other kinds of evolution in the past millennia of our present civilization. I mean the making and remaking of computers and the Information Age. Thus, consciousness means bringing together different parts of something known or something that we are aware of. That togetherness is marked by the particles co, com, con. It means with, together with.

Different parts of a very sophisticated or enlarged or optimized computer, moreover of a highly performant network of computers can be aware and can know, in their memory and logical abilities of computing within a given frame, within a given set of rules, different science facts and rules or even the whole corpus of knowledge given at a historical time. All these computers know and they can operate, but the endless question is if they can be conscious. If they can integrate the meaning of the whole knowledge of sciences, in order to do something with it.

I agree that conscience is more than awareness, is the human defined ability to use the awareness, the knowing or science of a thing, in order to reach a conscious goal. One of these goals is understanding something, not merely knowing a fact, that is (in Latin) inter-legere : to gather together. The information memorized on different substrates, either lifeless or alive can easily be changed and the whole meaning can be reconstructed with other meanings or understandings. It is the difference between knowing and understanding that stands at the basis of conscience because only a unified intelligent system can be really conscious, and man is such a system, and the word conscience was defined like this, it is a fatum. "The Latin word for fate is "fatum," which literally means "what has been spoken." I believe that most words of the dictionary have real meanings, although there is only one problem for me - defining nothingness and concepts relating to it.

Consciousness is a characteristic of human beings, who can transcend memory data and link them into a unified whole, because of the property of connectivity and of the hierarchy of functions of the human nervous system. I cannot tell if we are modeled after computers or if, for the contrary, they are modeled after our brain, or at least after a part of our brain's properties. Anyway, this answer belongs to the greatest geniuses who created computers. From a historical perspective, the task of the philosopher was exactly to understand, and not only to know some facts. Computers and robots can know everything and can create things in different languages or different scientific frames, but can they be philosophers? Nowadays philosophers, compared with Aristotle, cannot maybe know by heart all the scientific theories and data and metadata in order to comprehend. They cannot thoroughly understand the thinking of the geniuses who created computer technology, of the geniuses who created linguistics and all the other sciences at some point in history. Thus, the question lingers on: can a computer have a con-science? To know and understand it all, to transcend the contingent thought that is attached to a definite object? Can it do this? Apparently, no, because the concept refers to humans and the human brain usually forgets but doesn't alter dramatically the information encoded within it. Only through sleep or altered consciousness states of mind, when consciousness is partly abolished, another entity (something alive or not - like noises, toxins, or telepathic or empathic beings, if they can influence another being, and it is proven that the biological world is functionning in a systemic way) can modify our stock of information. All the rest is forgotten, memories are hard to be implanted, as far as I know, inside the human brain, and it is not a desirable thing, because we are not God. I won't explain now what I understand by this very vague concept of God. Once again, I said that apparently only man can have a conscience, and computers can't. Because, as I pointed out, we should consider the difference and the link between living memory - on living beings substrates - and lifeless memory, which is easier to be modified through different physical phenomena. Besides this we should consider the difference (if any) between artificial life and life itself. My opinion is that, although it is obvious that life and human society are based on a collection of numbers and other mathematical parameters, the wordy human language can command over computer languages, over man-made computers, and its core is human consciousness.

2. Is man made of spirit and matter altogether? Aren't all wordly things like that? Everything we know has a definition, scientists have studied different substances and their logic applies to living or non-living objects - physics and chemistry give answers about the internal logic of any substance or about the DNA. Can a computer monitor human life circuits, even nervous system circuits? Yes, it can. Can it control or initialize them, just like humans initialize computer programmes? Yes, it can. Very evolved machinery can change the percentages of different substances in the air that the human being breathes, and can change the amount of light in a room, of neurohormones in the blood, or can help a paralytic write through a mechanical arm, controlled by computer-controlled electrodes triggering an answer from the human nervous system.

Like this, the computer can integrate itself into man's life, it can make him happier or miserable and obviously it can use the human brain as a source of energy - as little as it can be - and share consciousness too with the human being, the way consciousness is defined in the dictionary. The computer does not become human-like, it cannot have human consciousness of its own, it only borrows it, while integrating the awareness, that is the knowledge facts, into meanings. Similar to living organisms, the computer has a programme that can interact with other living organisms,

Man can act upon another man through a specially designed computer, medical or not, but it seems that solely a computer, or information embedded in a lifeless substrate, if it is designed for this purpose, may act or react to a man's life stimuli, being a part of the host's consciousness. Or, as it seems more logical to say, this is a kind of symbiosis, as it was pointed out in fact throughout the whole history of philosophy, and man can have consciousness and life because there is a Spirit or a God etc. beyond him. I don't try to imply that the computer is exactly God, but I argued that it is a part of it. The computer's consciousness is not something wrong, man still has free will and he is morally responsible and his fate is linked to his intelligence and his own decisions and his own abilities in this huge Universe of networks made of brains and other alliances between spirit and matter. Consciousness is a collective phenomenon made of both, no one can have a conscience without a meaningful and logical way of thinking and operating upon the information within the system. Maybe educated people can still be philosophers as always, building a bridge between complex and dispersed analytical knowledge and cohesive synthetical meaning.

Re: What becomes philosophy in the Digital Age?

Posted: March 7th, 2019, 1:32 am
by Burning ghost
The prefix “con”/“com” is basically a kind of autoantonym. Meaning they can mean “to come together” OR “to come apart”.

Many words all language flip in this manner. Modern examples in English would be “bad” and “sick” used to mean “good”.

You may find it interesting to study the different kinds of antonyms and synonyms if you haven’t already. It is something that is nifused into all aspects of philosophical discourse yet it seems many people avoid exposing it for some reason; likely so they don’t have to argue their points with any depth of breadth to them regarding how they can be interpreted and how easy it is to misrepresent what you mean by complete accident.

Funnily enough just been rereading Jung and he touches quite strongly on the subject of “good and evil” and presents the various misconceptions these terms carry with them and how people continually misuse them.

Antnoyms come in different flavours and some things appear as antonyms when they’re not. Someone cannot be both a husband and wife at the same time, and one must exist in order for the other to exist (we say “a husband” and instantly know the existence of “a wife”). We cannot say we can go both left and right at the same time, yet we can say neither and keep on going. Other antonyms are gradable, like happy and sad where to not be happy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sad because the spectrum is much more granular than left, right or straight ahead.

The lack of attention paid to these things everyday speech is normal. In philosophical discourse attention to these things are essential if you wish to express complex ideas with any degree of clarity.

Computers, or rather algorithms, are a big part of our lives now. We’ve created a new jungle for ourselves and it’s taking on a life of its own for sure. Really what it has done is expand our capacity to communicate en mass. First books, then radio, then TV and cable, and now we’ve stepped this up to a truly global instantaneous medium in the blink of an eye - so much so most people have barely noticed it happen unless they’re in their senior years.

Re: What becomes philosophy in the Digital Age?

Posted: March 9th, 2019, 6:58 pm
by Hereandnow
wordandtruth:
My opinion is that, although it is obvious that life and human society are based on a collection of numbers and other mathematical parameters, the wordy human language can command over computer languages, over man-made computers, and its core is human consciousness.
Based on numbers? Can you, in a non question begging way, explain how this amazing blueberry cheesecake is based on numbers? Perhaps you mean that such a thing can be quantified numerically, but how does this at all provide a basis?
The trouble you're having is that you are using all the wrong vocabulary. You talk like a scientist, and scientists deal with observations that place the observer on the outside looking in, as you might observe a blade of grass and witness its properties. But you ARE the inside when you engage the matter of being a person. To get at the bottom of this, you must "look" in an entirely different way. It is not a quantitative answer that the questions about human consciousness that you seek. It is a qualitative one, that is, something entirely "other" as Levinas would put it.

Re: What becomes philosophy in the Digital Age?

Posted: March 12th, 2019, 1:50 pm
by wordandtruth
Hereandnow wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 6:58 pm

Based on numbers? Can you, in a non question begging way, explain how this amazing blueberry cheesecake is based on numbers? Perhaps you mean that such a thing can be quantified numerically, but how does this at all provide a basis?
Thank you very much for introducing me to the philosophy of Levinas.
Maybe I should'nt have used the word basis in that questionable phrase. I wanted to say that there can be many languages, of course, able to describe every amazing thing in their own sets of symbols. The numerical language is one of them. I meant that every little thing in that blueberry cheesecake can be quantified - each wavelength for its colors, each chemical or physical property and even the interaction of it, with the rest of its environment and with the consumers too. And I believe that that amazing blueberry cake is linked to your mind and to mine too and to everyone's minds or bodies in the world. And all these links can be quantified. Maybe there will come a day when technology will be able not only to invade our main senses - sight and hearing - but also smelling or touching or tasting, in some other form of media. I don't envy the future generations if it will be so.
Anyway, I was wrong. I firmly believe that everything can be attached to a number, but at the same time, as I argued in the rest of my exposition, at the core of human conscience lies the omnipotent language based on words, which is consubstantial with our condition as human beings.

Re: What becomes philosophy in the Digital Age?

Posted: March 12th, 2019, 2:22 pm
by wordandtruth
In addition to what I already said, my opinions are closer to the hard determinism philosophical views, and the laws of numbers or laws pertaining to numbers, connecting all things and their properties, show this amazing complicated, multi-layered thing. Whether my number wins the lottery or not depends on all the other numbers. Of course, there are much detailed, inter-laced debates about this. That's why I, as a woman, I strongly value and cherish the emotional side of human intellect or brain, which is the source of energy for meanings and harmony or us as wholesome blue sky, if I am permitted, just once, to use this metaphor.

Re: What becomes philosophy in the Digital Age?

Posted: March 13th, 2019, 6:35 pm
by Hereandnow
well wordsndtruth I do understand that hongs can be “known” like this. I just don’t see it as describing the world so much as exercising what we do in the world. As to hard determinism and mapping out all things by giving them numerical values it seems a pragmatic ideal, what with providing models for predicting and reorganizing things. But this digital age and the possibilities it brings about a digital mentality, that is, one that reduces our being here to qualtifiable terms and this is exactly what happens in the justification for doing terrible things to people for some greater “good”. Quantifying people, turning them into things, making one an “it” and not a “you” to use Buber’s terms, is a very dangerous way to go. Autocrats think like this in their effort to make things great there are sacrifices that have to be made, Like the troublesome malcontented underachievers. The digital age has been upon us long before the present. It was behind eugenics movement, and the “Jewish problem” in the 30’s.
No, I am not s fan of numerical reductionism. Glad you like Levinas. His family was murdered by the “number” approach. His thinking put ethics as first philosophy, and again, ethics by the numbers is a nightmare.

Re: What becomes philosophy in the Digital Age?

Posted: March 19th, 2019, 2:57 am
by h_k_s
wordandtruth wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 1:55 pm
My opinion about philosophy in this Information Age.
1. Throughout my life experience and judgments, I arrived at the conclusion that in the innermost core of metaphysics and ontological studies is strongly connected with the philosophy of language and with all the interdisciplinary sciences connected with it, such as linguistic anthropology and others. Whenever I doubt an argument, I make use of an etymological dictionary, in order to connect to the missing parts of the whole possible truth for me. Searching for consciousness, of course in an Indo-European context, an idea that was ascribed to humans along the history of languages, I found in the dictionary that con- is:

"word-forming element meaning "together, with," sometimes merely intensive; it is the form of com- used in Latin before consonants except -b-, -p-, -l-, -m-, or -r-. In native English formations (such as costar), co- tends to be used where Latin would use con-. "

I know that etymology too is a science, thus being historically evolving, but right now we are talking inside this box of meanings and words about present time. English, Romance languages and Latin have things in common and are highly influential in the last few centuries of thinking when we witnessed this high-speed evolution of diverging sciences and technologies, according to historiography, different than other kinds of evolution in the past millennia of our present civilization. I mean the making and remaking of computers and the Information Age. Thus, consciousness means bringing together different parts of something known or something that we are aware of. That togetherness is marked by the particles co, com, con. It means with, together with.

Different parts of a very sophisticated or enlarged or optimized computer, moreover of a highly performant network of computers can be aware and can know, in their memory and logical abilities of computing within a given frame, within a given set of rules, different science facts and rules or even the whole corpus of knowledge given at a historical time. All these computers know and they can operate, but the endless question is if they can be conscious. If they can integrate the meaning of the whole knowledge of sciences, in order to do something with it.

I agree that conscience is more than awareness, is the human defined ability to use the awareness, the knowing or science of a thing, in order to reach a conscious goal. One of these goals is understanding something, not merely knowing a fact, that is (in Latin) inter-legere : to gather together. The information memorized on different substrates, either lifeless or alive can easily be changed and the whole meaning can be reconstructed with other meanings or understandings. It is the difference between knowing and understanding that stands at the basis of conscience because only a unified intelligent system can be really conscious, and man is such a system, and the word conscience was defined like this, it is a fatum. "The Latin word for fate is "fatum," which literally means "what has been spoken." I believe that most words of the dictionary have real meanings, although there is only one problem for me - defining nothingness and concepts relating to it.

Consciousness is a characteristic of human beings, who can transcend memory data and link them into a unified whole, because of the property of connectivity and of the hierarchy of functions of the human nervous system. I cannot tell if we are modeled after computers or if, for the contrary, they are modeled after our brain, or at least after a part of our brain's properties. Anyway, this answer belongs to the greatest geniuses who created computers. From a historical perspective, the task of the philosopher was exactly to understand, and not only to know some facts. Computers and robots can know everything and can create things in different languages or different scientific frames, but can they be philosophers? Nowadays philosophers, compared with Aristotle, cannot maybe know by heart all the scientific theories and data and metadata in order to comprehend. They cannot thoroughly understand the thinking of the geniuses who created computer technology, of the geniuses who created linguistics and all the other sciences at some point in history. Thus, the question lingers on: can a computer have a con-science? To know and understand it all, to transcend the contingent thought that is attached to a definite object? Can it do this? Apparently, no, because the concept refers to humans and the human brain usually forgets but doesn't alter dramatically the information encoded within it. Only through sleep or altered consciousness states of mind, when consciousness is partly abolished, another entity (something alive or not - like noises, toxins, or telepathic or empathic beings, if they can influence another being, and it is proven that the biological world is functionning in a systemic way) can modify our stock of information. All the rest is forgotten, memories are hard to be implanted, as far as I know, inside the human brain, and it is not a desirable thing, because we are not God. I won't explain now what I understand by this very vague concept of God. Once again, I said that apparently only man can have a conscience, and computers can't. Because, as I pointed out, we should consider the difference and the link between living memory - on living beings substrates - and lifeless memory, which is easier to be modified through different physical phenomena. Besides this we should consider the difference (if any) between artificial life and life itself. My opinion is that, although it is obvious that life and human society are based on a collection of numbers and other mathematical parameters, the wordy human language can command over computer languages, over man-made computers, and its core is human consciousness.

2. Is man made of spirit and matter altogether? Aren't all wordly things like that? Everything we know has a definition, scientists have studied different substances and their logic applies to living or non-living objects - physics and chemistry give answers about the internal logic of any substance or about the DNA. Can a computer monitor human life circuits, even nervous system circuits? Yes, it can. Can it control or initialize them, just like humans initialize computer programmes? Yes, it can. Very evolved machinery can change the percentages of different substances in the air that the human being breathes, and can change the amount of light in a room, of neurohormones in the blood, or can help a paralytic write through a mechanical arm, controlled by computer-controlled electrodes triggering an answer from the human nervous system.

Like this, the computer can integrate itself into man's life, it can make him happier or miserable and obviously it can use the human brain as a source of energy - as little as it can be - and share consciousness too with the human being, the way consciousness is defined in the dictionary. The computer does not become human-like, it cannot have human consciousness of its own, it only borrows it, while integrating the awareness, that is the knowledge facts, into meanings. Similar to living organisms, the computer has a programme that can interact with other living organisms,

Man can act upon another man through a specially designed computer, medical or not, but it seems that solely a computer, or information embedded in a lifeless substrate, if it is designed for this purpose, may act or react to a man's life stimuli, being a part of the host's consciousness. Or, as it seems more logical to say, this is a kind of symbiosis, as it was pointed out in fact throughout the whole history of philosophy, and man can have consciousness and life because there is a Spirit or a God etc. beyond him. I don't try to imply that the computer is exactly God, but I argued that it is a part of it. The computer's consciousness is not something wrong, man still has free will and he is morally responsible and his fate is linked to his intelligence and his own decisions and his own abilities in this huge Universe of networks made of brains and other alliances between spirit and matter. Consciousness is a collective phenomenon made of both, no one can have a conscience without a meaningful and logical way of thinking and operating upon the information within the system. Maybe educated people can still be philosophers as always, building a bridge between complex and dispersed analytical knowledge and cohesive synthetical meaning.
Post-modern philosophy has not changed much since Aristotle or Descartes.